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Science and Politics: Professor David Nutt and David Blunkett

Duration:
43 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 18 June 2012

On Start the Week Andrew Marr asks how far scientific evidence can influence the political agenda. Professor David Nutt is a respected researcher working in the field of drugs, but is best known as the government advisor who was sacked by the Home Secretary for comparing the risks of horse-riding with taking ecstasy. He argues for a rational debate on drugs policy based on objective evidence. Mark Henderson despairs that this will never happen while only one of our 650 MPs is a scientist. But the former Labour minister, David Blunkett, defends his profession, arguing that even evidence-based policy must take into account public opinion and perception. And for former No. 10 advisor Jill Rutter evaluates the evidence for and against.
Producer: Katy Hickman.

  • DAVID NUTT

    David Nutt is Edmond J Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London.

    'Drugs – Without the Hot Air: Minimising the Harms of Legal and Illegal Drugs' is published by UIT Cambridge.

    David Nutt
  • MARK HENDERSON

    Mark Henderson is a media commentator on science and politics.

    'The Geek Manifesto: Why Science Matters' is published by Bantam Press.

    Mark Henderson
  • DAVID BLUNKETT

    David Blunkett is the Member of Parliament for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough.

    David Blunkett
  • JILL RUTTER

    Jill Rutter is Programme Director at the Institute for Government.

    Jill Rutter

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